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Clay Masters

For more than two decades, NPR's "Morning Edition" has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. With nearly 13 million listeners, "Morning Edition" draws public radio's largest audience.

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Business
3:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Investigation: HSBC Laundered Drug Money

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 11:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

An apology from a giant bank is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Shots - Health Blog
2:05 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Deciding On Truvada: Who Should Take New HIV Prevention Pill?

Kevin Kirk (left) and James Callahan have been together for more than five years. Recently they sat down and talked about whether Kevin, who is HIV-negative, might want to start taking Truvada.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 10:05 am

There's something new to prevent HIV infections.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a once-a-day pill that can drastically lower a person's risk of getting the virus that causes AIDS.

It's called Truvada — the first HIV prevention pill.

It's not cheap — around $13,000 a year — and it's not clear what insurers will pay for it. And there's worry that people taking the pill might relax safe-sex precautions.

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Law
2:03 am
Tue July 17, 2012

At An Air Force Base, Allegations Of Sexual Assault

In this June 22 image made from video, female airmen march during graduation at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. A widening sex scandal has rocked Lackland, one of the nation's busiest military training centers. A dozen instructors are being investigated for allegations ranging from abuse to rape.
John L. Mone AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 2:05 pm

Opening statements will be made Tuesday in the trial of a former Air Force instructor accused of rape and sexual assault of the young trainees in his care.

Staff Sgt. Luis Walker faces 28 charges and could be sentenced to life in prison. A total of 12 Air Force instructors are under investigation for allegedly abusing recruits at Lackland Air Force Base, the main Air Force training center.

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Economy
2:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Romney's Plan To Revive Jobs Has Mixed Results

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks about job numbers July 6 at Bradley's Hardware in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he can do better than President Obama at finding jobs for unemployed Americans. One way he would do that is by bringing back personal re-employment accounts.

When people lose their jobs, one of the first places they turn to is their state unemployment office, where they can sign up for unemployment benefits; they often can enroll in some kind of retraining class as well.

In 2004, the Bush administration conducted an experiment to begin privatizing a small part of the federal retraining program.

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Science
1:01 am
Tue July 17, 2012

With Funding Gone, Last Undersea Lab Could Surface

Researchers Sylvia Earle (left) and Mark Patterson are trying to raise funds to save the Aquarius Reef Base.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:25 am

While you're enjoying your coffee this morning, half a dozen scientists are already at work. They're not sitting at desks, however, but a few miles off the Florida Keys, 60 feet down on the ocean bottom.

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Around the Nation
6:33 am
Mon July 16, 2012

90 Year Old Celebrates Birthday On A Roller Coaster

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne. Former President George H. W. Bush says when he turns 90 he'll celebrate by skydiving. Thrill seeking at 90 is becoming a trend. Thelma Gratch spent her 90th, presumably with arms raised, hurtling down a 230-foot high roller coaster at 80 miles an hour. She's had a season pass to an amusement park outside Cincinnati since 1979 so chances are she's spent other birthdays screaming her head off. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:15 am
Mon July 16, 2012

'Chain Reaction' Statue In Need Of Repair

The late Paul Conrad's 1991 work "Chain Reaction" is a mass of black chain link shaped into a mushroom cloud. It's in Santa Monica, Calif., where people either love or hate it. Now the end of the world has been delayed long enough for the statue to decay.

Election 2012
6:04 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Romney Responds To Obama's Bain Capital Charges

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Until this past weekend, Romney generally ignored invitations to be interviewed, except on Fox News. Then on Friday night, he did a series of TV talks defending his work at Bain Capital.

NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik was watching.

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Science
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

FDA Monitors Critical Scientists' Emails

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Middle East
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Clinton Visits Israel On Mideast Tour

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Sports
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

After Damning Report, Will NCAA Sanction PSU Football?

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renée Montagne. The damning report on Penn State by former FBI director Louis Freeh confirmed, last week, what many said all along - the scandal is the biggest and most damaging in the history of college sports. Of course, child sexual abuse and a cover-up go way beyond the infractions commonly punished by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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Election 2012
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Presidential Election: How Much Does Fundraising Matter?

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have lately been raising more money than President Obama and the Democrats. They won the money chase in May and in June. Normally, you would expect the incumbent to raise far more money.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And President Obama's campaign promptly warned supporters that he could lose without more cash. Though the Democrats have still raised more in the overall campaign, this led us to ask: How much does a fundraising advantage matter?

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Business
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Microsoft's moves in the news business.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's stay in the land of milk and honey, because our last word in business takes us to a barnyard venture that is solving to very old problems at once. The first is keeping unwanted plants out of a productive vegetable garden. The second, more existential problem is finding a suitable romantic partner. And the last word is weed dating.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Analysis
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama will be in the swing state of Ohio again today. He'll be holding his first big town hall meeting of the campaign in Cincinnati. And the president will likely continue his campaign attack against Mitt Romney's record of what Democrats characterize as sending jobs overseas while he was the head of Bain Capital. Over the weekend, the president said he would not apologize for those attacks.

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NPR Story
3:24 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Montana Makes It Easier To Hunt Wolves

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Montana is making it easier to hunt wolves. The wolf population has been growing even though wolf hunting is already legal. So wildlife officials are doing away with the statewide kill limit. They are nearly doubling the length of the season and the state will also allow trapping, which many conservationists call inhumane. Here's Dan Boyce with Montana Public Radio.

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NPR Story
3:24 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Mazda Struggle In U.S Market

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 3:40 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The recession came close to killing off some of the American automakers. Now in a slow recovery, the American companies are doing better. Japanese car companies, some of them, are struggling - in particular some of the smaller Japanese automakers are facing trouble. NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at the fortunes of what are known as the Little Three.

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NPR Story
3:24 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Syrian Violence Escalates Into Civil War

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Across the border in Syrian, reports of clashes between the army and rebels overnight in a neighborhood in Damascus. It was some of the heaviest fighting so far in the capital, according to residents and activists who say the army for the first time bombarded one neighborhood with mortars.

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Business
2:29 am
Mon July 16, 2012

In Bankruptcy, American Airlines Looks At All Options

Will American emerge from bankruptcy as a stand-alone airline, or will it merge with US Airways? An American spokesman says it's considering all options.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 6:30 am

Imagine going into bankruptcy with billions of dollars in cash still in your bank account. That's what American Airlines did last November. The thinking was that management would gut the company's pensions and union contracts and emerge from bankruptcy ready to compete.

But then US Airways said it could take over American and be profitable, and it wouldn't have to hurt American's employees nearly as bad in the process. American's pilots, mechanics and flight attendants loved that idea.

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Business
2:26 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Bucking Bulls Draw Crowds, And Dollars

Bulls are judged with a "dummy" weight for four seconds to see how hard they will jump and twist to buck a rider. Bulls that do well can sell for up to $50,000.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:04 pm

The bucking bull has long been the embodiment of the American rodeo, and it takes just four seconds for a strong young bull to reap its owner as much as $50,000 in prize money.

Four seconds is how long each 1- or 2-year-old bull will wear a weight strapped to its back as the massive animal is judged on how high it kicks and how much it twists.

In the past 10 years, bucking bulls have become a major industry. The price of the best bloodlines can soar to $250,000, and competitions take place everywhere from Madison Square Garden to Wyoming.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:25 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Is HIV Still A Death Sentence? Young People Weigh In

Young activists distribute condoms at an AIDS awareness event in Ashbury Park, N.J.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:11 am

Think of this like a snapshot — a few perspectives of HIV-negative 20-somethings.

To start, we posted the following query on NPR's Facebook page:

"Thirty years ago, a positive HIV status was considered a death sentence. As treatments for the disease have advanced over the past three decades, we're wondering how younger people view the disease today."

Hundreds of people e-mailed and commented with their reactions. We also gathered reactions from young folks we met on the street.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:24 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Treatment Gives HIV's Long-Term Survivors Hope, But Takes A Toll

HIV treatment regimens, like the pills in this patient's hand, keep AIDS at bay, but can take a harsh physical toll over the course of many years.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 11:43 am

Crystal Roberts-Lee has lived a tough life, and her HIV has, in some ways, been the least of her worries.

She was addicted to heroin and cocaine. Her daughter went to prison. A scorpion tattoo crawling across her neck marks the day her husband died from AIDS. Now, at 59, Roberts-Lee is the healthiest she has ever been.

"After I take my medicine, it's just a normal day for me," she says. "I go on with whatever I have to do. If I'm just out and about, I feel like I'm just like the next person."

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Crime In The City
2:22 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Big Crime, Little State: Murder, Mystery In R.I.

Roger Williams, memorialized with a statue in Prospect Terrace Park, founded Providence in 1636. According to crime writer Bruce DeSilva, corruption set in not long after.
Will Hart via Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:20 am

Providence, R.I., has a history of mob violence rivaling that of New York or New Jersey, but it comes with a gritty intimacy that could only be found in the nation's littlest state. Author Bruce DeSilva says that's what makes Providence the perfect place to set his crime fiction.

"It is big enough to have the usual array of urban problems," he says. "But it's so small that it's claustrophobic. It's very hard to keep a secret in places like that."

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Shots - Health Blog
7:52 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Thriving Gut Bacteria Linked To Good Health

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is important for gut health, especially in aging adults.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:19 am

There's no magic elixir for healthy aging, but here's one more thing to add to the list: good gut health.

A study published in the latest issue of Nature finds diet may be key to promoting diverse communities of beneficial bacteria in the guts of older people.

To evaluate this, researchers analyzed the microbiota, or gut bacteria, of 178 older folks, mostly in their 70s and 80s.

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Business
6:48 am
Fri July 13, 2012

JPMorgan: Trading Loss Grows To $4.4 Billion

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, this morning released its second quarter results. It's net income was $5 billion, but it turns out that loses in a failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader were much higher than what the bank originally said the loss would be. In fact, JPMorgan lost $4.4 billion last quarter on those risky trades.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that's not the full extent of the firm's damage.

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Around the Nation
6:24 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Surfing Goats Amaze California Beachgoers

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

World
6:18 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Lebanese Tire Of Protesters Using Tires

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. People in Beirut are sick of political protests across the country. Protesters have been blocking highways with burning tires. So there was only one thing to do. Yesterday, they held a protest using tires against protests using tires. Instead of burning the tires in the street, they painted the tires many colors. The protesters held up signs reading: We are tired. And a police officer refused to ticket them, saying, their tires are pretty. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Books
5:57 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Original Fiction In All The 'Shades' Of Fandom

courtesy of Vintage/Anchor Books

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:17 am

This Friday the 13th, fans of horror films and hobbits, science fiction and fantasy are descending upon the San Diego Convention Center. They're gathering for the annual explosion of pop culture fandom that is Comic-Con. One of the biggest phenomena in pop culture at the moment will be making an appearance, and it's not a man of steel or a boy slinging webs.

It's a 40-something woman who writes... wait for it... steamy romance.

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Business
5:51 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Geithner Pointed Out LIBOR Concerns In 2008

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:04 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a warning about LIBOR.

It came years ago. We now know that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner pointed out problems with the way that London's key interest rates were set. He did this in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis at the time he was head of the New York Federal Reserve.

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Business
5:04 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Team USA Predicted To Take The Most Medals

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some future news now. The Olympics begin two weeks from today in London, and we can already tell you the likely big winners. China will take the most gold medals, followed by the U.S. and host country, Great Britain. Team USA will win the most overall medals, followed by China and Russia.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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